Lonely housewives. Not as fun as advertised.

I love my father, I really do. He’s kind and he’s intelligent and he’s funny and I love him. But sometimes he’s such a fucking idiot that it makes me want to scream. Sometimes I wish he would listen to me on occasion, but I fear my words hold no meaning or depth for him no matter how loudly I would speak them, so I don’t bother to try. I’m not sure why it’s this way – maybe it’s the age gap between my sister and I, or maybe it’s because he’s always harder on me because I’ve always been a harder person. Maybe he’s just that easily manipulated, and I’m not the type that feels comfortable “out-manipulating” him, but I’d like to think that’s not true. He has said before that he doesn’t understand why it’s so impossibly hard for me to open up to him, but doesn’t seem to see how often his lack of compassion can burn. Even the last time I tried, just for a moment, all I received in return was criticism and the same recycled bullshit that comes from someone else’s mouth. If there’s any sort of strife between my sister and I, no matter what it is, he shuts completely me out. It’s frustrating, to say the least. That mix of stress, frustration, sadness and anger that makes your stomach churn and heart pound to think about. The kind of feeling you really wish you could just push aside and not bother with, but it keeps sneaking in like it’s found some sort of back door to your consciousness.

What he calls “not listening”, was regular conversations, almost daily; passive-aggressive bullshit flung in our direction, make believe stories, outright lies (even admitted lies), a few arguments, and some very obvious attempts at emotional manipulation.
“Not listening” was being promised, “I’ll do this right and leave in three months like agreed and not fuck everyone over” one evening, and having a passive-aggressive letter left on my computer the next that said ‘sorry, but I’m actually leaving in 10 days’. Literally the next day.
“Not listening” was having a secure plan that everyone agreed upon blown apart because something attractive walked by. And it’s not even like this is the first time, or the second… this happens every single time she meets a boy. Every time. I should have seen it earlier and prepared for it as soon as I realized her eye was wandering, but I am blinded by the hope that things will change. I keep reaching out, and trying to trust, and trying again and again, but it turns out I’m just as easily manipulated. I hope this is the last time, I really do, because I don’t know how much more of it I can take. I suppose this is the definition of an abusive relationship; how the abused then abuse others in turn. I know all about this cycle, and I know it takes my willful participation to continue, but it’s a lot harder to step out of it when it’s so bloody complicated.

It’s not even like it matters in the long run, because it always smooths over no matter how badly we get fucked over and how much we seem to invite it. I get that this is my own fault fault for being stupid enough to trust again and again. What bothers me is his blindness; his complete and total blindness, his willful ignorance, his inability to listen while asking me to talk. Sometimes I get so full of anger and hurt that I want to scream. Fuck you, fuck your priorities, fuck your hilariously imbalanced sense of care, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.
Even if I only mean it tonight, for the next few hours, I just need to get it out of my system. My head is screaming with it and I have cried out the anger until I have collapsed in exhaustion.
Being alone only ever hurts when you so desperately need the company. And right now I need the company desperately. It has been a very, very lonely month.

Curtis’ work schedule is a joke; he is gone in the morning and I never know when he’ll be back. Such is the life of someone in this business, and I know that, but we didn’t expect it to come on so quickly. The whole point of taking the promotion during the off-season was to gradually ease us into the rigorous schedule, but co-worker illness along with some unexpected emergencies, have resulted in trial by fire instead.
It feels unbearable to see him for only a few minutes after I wake up, lost in the thick of getting everyone through breakfast and out to school, and then have him disappear until god-knows-when. 9.5 hours one day, 10 hours the next, 12, 11, 11.5, another three 12 hour shifts in a row…. there’s no texts, or phone calls or quick check-in or anything because he doesn’t get breaks in this business, particularly given the role he has. He barely has time to go to the bathroom, and generally has to eat on the line or manage a small bowl of something hastily-consumed at the end of his shift so he saves me the need to make an extra portion at home.
I’ve gone from almost never cooking to doing 100% of the meal planning, preparing and cooking literally overnight. 100% of the child care. 100% of the cleaning. It’s so unbelievably overwhelming to have it change so suddenly. It’s like I got a divorce that I really, really didn’t want… except in a divorce there’s the expectation and reality of being alone, so you are far more prepared for the responsibility. It’s different when you’re still together, and truly had no idea things would change so suddenly.

The stress crept up slowly at first, and then hit me like a tsunami. A tsunami of horrible, horrible anxiety. I feel exhausted, and tired, and angry and unbearably lonely. I am suddenly aware of the fact that many friends have moved away and the rest are painful introverts like me, so I see very little of them. I have no way of acquiring a “day off” – or a few hours off – because no one can put Zephyra to sleep, and Xan’s behaviour has become so completely out of control that no one wants to be around him longer than about 5 minutes.
(Xan is a whole other entry, and a topic I could go on about for a long time… I know everyone will blame it on Curtis’ change in work because that’s easy, but this is something that’s been building for several years and has reached some sort of horrible peak in the last six months.)
I was convinced I could handle the dramatic life change as long as I kept on top of things. I started a gentle workout schedule and saw progress, which improved my body image and my confidence. I started each day with a protein shakes and a number of supplements, so my overall health was better and I was more energetic than I’d felt in years. I tried to keep a loose schedule of regular outings with the kids, often just to the library or the park, but sometimes even just short little walks to the store could do it. And then it just fell apart bit by bit: my pain, my health, my energy, my patience, my love of spending time with the kids… because I’m not built for this kind of thing. I’m not a super healthy, fit, active, young supermom anymore (nor was I ever), with money to blow on craft supplies and organic “super food”. And as horrible as it is to admit it to myself, I don’t have the physical ability to be that person regardless of how much I try to.
Even the act of writing it down feels disgusting somehow; it’s like giving in to becoming a poor excuse for a parent.

There is so much pressure to bend without breaking no matter what life throws at you. You must become some sort of perfect little MILF who makes rainbow cupcakes and hand puppets that end up on Pinterest, but I’m not sure that life actually exists for anyone… let alone is a “goal” I can aspire to. I’ve always had a problem with setting my bars too high because I don’t accept myself as adequate unless I’ve outdone everything, everyone, and performed some impossible feat. That’s the kind of shit that came up in therapy a lot, and despite the coping skills and reality checks, I can’t seem to get too far away from it. It’s like some sort of anti-overachiever bullshit where instead of feeling gratified and uplifted by accomplishments, I see them all as failures because they could have been more. Or better. Or done faster, with more flair and grace.
Every missed item on a list I can’t possibly complete is another reason to punish myself; I wrap up in self-loathing like it was an old blanket full of tears and holes, but one I just love too much to throw away. Once I’m down in this hole of self-fulfilling prophecies, everything becomes a new reason to dig myself deeper, because clearly I’m not going to find a ladder.

The mental exhaustion quickly turned into physical, and over the course of a week or more I started getting sicker and sicker until finally collapsing one evening a few hours before Curtis was ‘due’ to come home, (though already well past when his supposed shift ended). I texted him, knowing full well it was unlikely he even had his phone on him, and begged him to come home. My cell rang 20 minutes later and by some miracle he managed to find a way to leave 20 minutes after that. By the time he came home I was curled in bed awash in tears and fever sweats while Tempest and Xan dutifully entertained the baby downstairs.
Curtis brought me pain medication and water, called in ‘wife sick’ and convinced me to rest. I didn’t open my eyes for 6 hours, and then only briefly to ask him to help me move near him, and passed out again until 1pm the next day. I could only stay awake an hour at a time until late that evening. Curtis came to get me from bed after the kids were all asleep and set up the couch for me to lay on the way he did back when I was pregnant with Tempest and seriously injured my pelvis; all covered in blankets and pillows in all the right supportive places so I can let my body melt into it without pain. Somehow he managed to fit us both together so he could hold me in his arms and breathe the life back into me. We lay there watching TV until past midnight, when he helped me back upstairs to go to bed again.

After I recovered from whatever that was, I felt better and less stressed for a while. Then a few days ago I got some sort of horrific kidney infection that came completely out of the blue. Generally things like that take some time and neglect to get to that point, so I’m not sure what happened, but either way it’s under control now after a barrage of function tests and a round of heavy antibiotics that make me terribly nauseous and headachy. It would seem I’ve worked my body up into a big, dysfunctional, stress ball and I’m not entirely sure how to reverse that. The last week has been better than most, so maybe the solution is just a matter of getting used to the loneliness and calamity, but times like these have me wishing for some sort of magic pill that makes everything seem easier. If I was more keen on drugs and alcohol this would be an ideal time to pick up a terrible habit.

The loneliness is harder to deal with than the general stress. Even when Curtis and I were apart for months at a time while we were dating, it never felt like this. Back then we had the nightly chats for hours, telephone calls and static-filled voice chats to fill in the blanks… so it never felt this overwhelming.
Around the same time, I was struck by the most intense swell of libido I’ve experienced in my life. By the time he returns from the closing shifts, soaked to the bone with rain and sweat from the midnight bike rides, it’s all I can do not to tear his clothes off when he comes in the door. And it’s like this every single night.

Our desires have never been well-matched, and sex has been the number one argument in our relationship since it began. He is a slower and more subtle person, where my desire burns without cease and with a poor regard for good timing. Over the last few years we’ve managed to strike a balance between them that satisfies us both, and I managed to blow it completely to hell in just a few weeks once his night-shifts outweighed his day shifts.
I enjoy being a sexual person, I like my sexuality, I love that I finally have so much of it after years of struggling to even find it… but times like that make me wish I could take a pill to turn it off to avoid the trouble it causes. A love of sexuality doesn’t equal sexual confidence, and rejection still stings even after all this time. Though it’s stung a lot more lately than it ever did before.
The tension reached a head and we had a tearful argument while laying in bed one evening. I am insatiable and it is overwhelming. I am beginning to hate it, and hate myself for how out of control it feels. He listens intently, as he always does, and we talked until it started to make sense.
He told me he thinks this out of control business is because I’m lonely. I stave off loneliness with intimacy, and I get 90% of my intimacy from sex. There are many other ways to get intimacy from him, of course, but none of those ways fill the void the way I need. For me, sex is the only way to do that. So the more lonely I feel for him, the more intense my desire becomes and the more desperate the need becomes to sate it. Then the knowledge this will continue to happen again and again leads to this endless and perpetually building cycle that leaves him feeling rather freaked out by my intensity.
It isn’t even the climax I crave, it’s the closeness. As we get older, sex is less and less about the “finish line” it started as when we were kids, and becomes more about the intimacy. The feeling of bodies pressed together, the exchange of breath and whispered promises. Arousal and desire and satisfaction become so deeply entwined with trust and vulnerability… sex is a comfort and the most connected we can become when I need him. It’s why I can’t solve this “problem” by running off with a favourite vibrator; I can’t fill that void with anything short of human contact.

After we talked, and Curtis suggested this theory, I felt a little more sane… at the very least it makes sense, and I realize that the solution is not as far away as it feels. I just need to find a way to balance the loneliness of the evenings, and stop my body from believing that I can stave off those feelings with the kind of screaming, slapping, choking, bruising, biting sex that I want to be having all the time.

As I read back over this I realize how extremely co-dependant it may sound – but consider that we haven’t had a quiet house without each other for company in a very long time. A decade, or maybe more. It isn’t the stress of the evening routine that gets me – that part is easy by comparison – it’s the silence that descends over the house once the last child is asleep and I find myself completely alone. For hours. Nothing fills the silence the way I need it to be filled: music, television, video games, occupying myself with menial tasks like cleaning or baking… nothing fills the void because it isn’t noise I need as much as companionship. I don’t even need active companionship, just the passive kind where you’re in the same room together doing different things but the warmth of each other’s company is enough to keep the feelings at bay. It’s the kind of thing you become accustomed to after many, many years of marriage.
The yearning for his company is not met by any conversation or quick phone call, and over time churns into desire and lust, so that by the time he comes home it’s all I can think to do to fill the emptiness… and this is where I become unhinged and we become unbalanced.
Maybe it is codependence, but if that’s the case at least we’re happy in a mutual state of it.

There’s been enough space between that realization, the arguments and conversations to feel less insane all the time. It’s been several weeks into his schedule change and the nights don’t feel as empty as they once did, thanks in part to an agreement that Curtis give a quick text or call even just to say, “I love you” when he has a break. Sometimes the difference is just in hearing his voice.
Though I continue to be a bit of a sex monster, and we continue to make terrible jokes about it. Following one particularly vulgar evening we had the following conversation:

Me: “There’s something you have to realize about me, and it’s that I’ll always be horny.”
Him: “You’ll be on your deathbed still begging for one last fisting.”
Me: “You’ll be sitting next to me all crying and grieving, surrounding by children and I’ll ask them to leave so I can speak to you one last request, have you come closer and closer still… and then whisper, ‘did you bring the [ Laya ]?’.”
Him: “Erk… ack… ugh!” *feigns death*
Me: “It’ll be worth it though.”
Him: “I’ll bury you with all of your sex toys.”
Me: “I prefer to be cremated.”
Him: “Cremated then. I’ll cremate you with all the sex toys. You know, to ensure I don’t use them on any other women afterward.”
Me: “I’d hope not. I mean, for hygiene reasons alone! Please buy new ones.”
Him: “Yeah okay that’d be a little weird.”
Me: “And are you kidding me? I’m not letting go until you’re old enough to be completely impotent. There will be no fucking of anyone other than me.”
Him: “If you die young I’ll find out theres some clause in your will that requires my castration.”
Me: “It’s the Cuckolding Act of 2028. I’ll drive out to one of those skeevy 24-hour drive-thru law offices where you can get your will changed.”
Him: “Because we have so many of those.”
Me: “We will after the Cuckolding Act of 2028!”
Him: “Two men will show up at my door the day after you die with a legal document and a knife. ‘What? I don’t remember signing this!’, ‘You did sir your signature is right here. It was on this day.’, ‘Oh shit I was high as fuck that day.’, ‘Still counts’.”
Me: “I’d like to be burned with me.”
Him: “Along with the sex toys.”
Me: “I may need it in the afterlife. In case I get bored. Or horny.”
Him: “The things I do for you.”

Comments

comments

2 Comments

  • Erin says:

    I understand completely what you mean about the need for human contact. I crave sex because I crave the feeling of having a man lay on me. The closeness, the feeling of his breath on my neck & face. I get it. I am sorry xo

    • Babyslime says:

      There really is nothing like that sexual intimacy is there? And it’s not just about the feeling of sexual satisfaction, it’s that intense vulnerability and closeness that is completely unmatched by any other feeling in the world.

Leave a Reply